LCS 5 To Get New Waterjets

The Office of Naval Research recently announced that USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) will be equipped with four Rolls-Royce Axial-Flow Waterjet Mk-1 engines, which they claim will both improve performance and reduce required maintenance over the life of the ship.

According to ONR the new Axial-Flow Waterjet Mk-1 can move nearly half a million gallons of seawater per minute and will propel the LCS to speeds greater than 40 knots. 

Researchers believe the smaller, more efficient waterjets will help the LCS avoid excessive maintenance costs associated with cavitation – a phenomenon that occurs when changes in pressure create air bubbles on rotating machinery, such as marine propellers. Repeated occurrences can cause whole chunks of metal to wear away, leading to frequent repairs and replacements.  The waterjets’ new design could increase their lifespan between repairs.

Full-scale trials for the waterjets are expected to occur on Milwaukee in the next 24 months.

In other LCS news, Chris Cavas of Navy Times reports that the Navy’s LCS requirement has dropped from 55 ships to 52 — a decrease, the Navy said, resulting from a lessening of the presence requirement to support U.S. Africa Command and not the ongoing budget crises related to the continuing resolution or sequestration.

20 Comments on "LCS 5 To Get New Waterjets"

  1. Hey, frees up more money to buy some Korean FFX.

  2. So this is only for the Freedom Class units or is the Independence Class ships included as well?

    The ships are still barely useful as secondary combatants in my opinon. They might as well be coast guard cutters. I realize their suppose to be used for handing multitasks such as MCM/Surveryor/Patroling, but i still think their going get toasted by Fast Attack Craft that still majority use with most unfriendly countries. Big waste money if they want to use this as a replacement for the Frigate.

  3. Thats after this month the Navy has the money to make a LCS 5!

  4. "will help the LCS avoid excessive maintenance costs" translated into English: this means that the LCS will now be able to go to sea for 2 whole days before the next maintenance cycle/drydock period

  5. these jets are so loud that a Chinese sub can sink an LCS from 300 miles away. Brillant! Sequestration cometh!!!

  6. Great it can go 40+ knots. Still can't defend itself or project any type of power so its still worthless.

  7. 40 knots will allow this ship to run from trouble until cavation torpedoes are widely used. The aluminum superstructure means antiship missiles will blow right through it without detonating. I wouldn't feel safe on one of these ships.

  8. Ok, it's a well armed waterski boat…

  9. I hear the Royal Thai navy is looking at the LCS to replace their Frigate. Let's see how fast that goes

  10. While its nice these new water-jets will make the ship easier to maintain, I remain unclear on why the ship needs to go in excess of 40 knots (the navy is still trying to figure that out as well).

    However, the engines do nothing to inspire confidence for a sea frame that has a survivability rating at level 1 (less than that of a fleet tanker), the lack of any OTH attack capability (nary even a box o' harpoons) that would give a real enemy any pause, or the real ability to fight in the littorals they were intended for. And none of the "mission packages" contain sufficient weapons/armaments to remedy that problem.

    The Brits have designed their new Type 28 Global Combat Ship that costs less, but gives you so much more in return. We also have the NSC's that the USCG is building, and versions of those that are up-armored with heavier armaments have been offered to the navy as a considerable cost savings (with far longer legs).

  11. "a phenomenon that occurs when changes in pressure create steam bubbles on rotating machinery, such as marine propellers. The bubbles of steam collapse, creating shock waves that can erode nearby hard parts."

    Fixed. :)

    Whoever inserted air instead of steam (water vapor) needs an intensive course in reality-checking…

  12. Im going to try and post here one last time.

    No one is suggesting that all of our hardware should come from over sees. If we cant compete for our own defense contracts, there is are bigger economic problems to worry about than buying foreign sometimes. We prospered free for a long time, I dont see how centrally planned protectionism will help.

    Buying a good foreign product now and again wouldnt gut our industrial base. If that was the case, it would be unconscienable and sgort sighted fo ever sell anything to our allies. Sometimes they will want what we have, and that boost to our industrial base will make buying foreign acceptable. Its called trade, smart countries do it.

    Of course, foreign products should only be purchased when said products possess one or more decisive advantage over domestic competitors. In the Navys case, if saving money on a European frigate gives us a better ship at a better price, we can use those savings to invest elsewhere domestically, maybe smaller shipbuilding or modular upgrade programs that could fill gaps in our shrinking fleet. Such small programs would allow us to pracfice getting the aquisition process right.

    We also need a more open minded approach for design. A Navy team, or teams, could submit proposals along with ours and other countries private companies designs when the Navy issues a requirement, or just when they have a really good idea.

    I really think we need to plan for gradual improvememts in design and production, rather than big leaps every few decades. In fact, I think this approach would allow big leaps to happen more often than when we try to force them.

    Look at the Su-10 series. It went from the Su-27 to the Su-37 to the Su-35, creating variants like the Su-34 along the way, and set the stage for the Pak-FA. Lets start learning lessons from abroad, look at European ship building right now, look at Saabs NG. Look at Korea. All lessons from countries with far less economic resources than us, yet they have made the most of it. We cant let our past success lead to more hubris now or in the future.

    Lets start small and set realistic short term goals. Lets use off the shelf parts, plan for less than the ideal, and lets plan on taking baby steps to get from good enough now to great tommorow.

  13. yikes, rolls royce engines? what happened to the buy american act?

  14. There are two types of ships.Submarines and targets.The U.S, is broke.Stop spending money and resources abroad.We don't need to be the policeman for the world and we can't afford any money for foreign aid.We are in need of aid ourselves.
    Bring all our military home,use the army to close the border with Mexico and use the navy and marines to protect the east coast and west coast.Change the air force back to the army air corp and eliminate that as a separate branch of military.

  15. Here's the state of our Navy today:
    -maintenance has gone to hell
    -carriers are becoming dock queens
    -Political correctness above warfighting
    -The Chef's mess has been castrated
    -All true warriors are being "fired, "relieved," and or push aside
    -We have more admirals now than we have ships
    -crappy uniforms
    -and a fleet that is every shrinking every year

    and to add to all of this stink we have:
    -The LCS is "the future of the Navy"

  16. ONR? Since when is ONR doing ship design? Since when has ONR been writing NAVSEA contracts? I guess Persons is letting ONR run the contracts shop and OPNAV is listening to the ONR ship designers.

  17. “will help the LCS avoid excessive maintenance costs” translated into English: this means that the LCS will now be able to go to sea for 2 whole days before the next maintenance cycle/drydock period

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